Drogheda United 2 Cork City 1

The battle of former managers deservedly went Alan Matthews way as basement side Drogheda belied their lowly position to inflict a damaging defeat on Paul Doolin’s title chasing Cork side.

This result’s been coming for some weeks now as United’s form steadily improves and last night they were full value for their first home win of the season.

And the game began with another milestone as Drogheda took the lead for the first time this campaign in a match after nine minutes from a corner out on the left which James Chambers whipped into the box for Conor Kenna who directed the ball with his head bullet like to the net.

United carried the game to their opponents throughout the half and were denied a clear goal scoring opportunity in the 34th minute when Greg O’Halloran cynically took down Paul Crowley on the edge of the box as he burst through on goal.

Referee Declan Hanney brandished a yellow card to a fortunate City defender and from the resulting free Chambers guided his kick round the wall but wide of the target.

Just before half-time O’Halloran came to his side’s rescue when he managed to get a vital block on Shane Barrett’s goal bound close range strike which could have doubled the home side’s advantage a scenario their domination of the opening half really merited.

Five minutes into the second half Drogheda were denied a second goal by their former keeper Dan Connor who made a terrific point blank save from Paul Crowley who was on the end of Kenna’s knockdown from a Chambers free.

On the hour mark as Cork at long last began to come into the match a Dan Murray strike from twenty yards came back off the crossbar.  On 62 minutes the sides were level when Colin Healy’s free picked out substitute Guntars Silagalis whose header was pushed out by keeper Paul Skinner but returned to the net by Murray who was in the right place at the right time to score.

The visitors were now in complete command and it seemed only a matter of time before they would hit the front but Drogheda weathered the storm and retook the lead ten minutes from the end of the match.

Jamie Duffy broke down the right and cut into the box where Danny Murphy got a challenge in but the ball broke centrally to sub David O’Connor who planted his shot superbly to the bottom right corner past Connor for what proved to be the winner.
Indeed United went close to increasing their winning margin in the closing minutes as Duffy’s shot was deflected out for a corner off Murphy and Shane Barrett’s shot was stopped by Connor right on full time.

Drogheda:  Skinner, Clarke, Kenna, McNally, Shiels, Crowley, Chambers, Barrett, Martin (O’Connor 60), Duffy, King. 

Cork:  Connor, Murphy, O’Halloran, Murray, Healy, Kuduzovic, Dennehy (O’Connor 77), Lordan, Behan, Sullivan, O’Donnell (Silagailis 52). 

Referee:  D. Hanney (Dublin)

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